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Modern Mastery: Beginning a Spiritual Journey

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

After losing in the finals of the Grand Prix Trials last week, I was certainly looking forward to any new tech out of GP Chicago. Thankfully, Team Channel Fireball didn’t disappoint. Hot Jund-on-Jund action was seen in the finals between Josh Utter-Leyton and Jacob Wilson, who both ran a new version of Jund splashing white for Lingering Souls. Any of you who listen to The Eh Team know I am a huge fan of Lingering Souls. I was very happy to give the Spirit Jund build a shot and took a hard look at the Top 16 lists before arriving here:

I was also joined in the booth this week by The Man himself, Jonathan Medina. It was interesting adding him to the show because his inexperience with the format provided a fresh set of eyes on my plays. I was anxious to determine the actual value that deck knowledge and interactions carry, and this would be a great way to test for it. I talk about some of the changes I made to the list based on my play experiences to date, and you should definitely check out the show.

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Round 1 — Storm

We get basically the nut draw in this matchup in Game 1 with Turn 1 Deathrite Shaman, Turn 2 discard and Tarmogoyf and another discard spell for Turn 3 — which we didn’t see because the opponent scooped up early.

We bring in all of our storm hate for Game 2, and it ends up being much of the same. We draw seven into [cad]Rule of Law[/card] (our best sideboard card in this matchup), and end up keeping the hand on Turn 2 Dark Confidant with a Lightning Bolt in hand. We peel the white source for Turn 3, and we find ourselves another opponent.

Round 2 — Splinter Twin w/ Kiln Fiend

We misread the spells from our opponent in Game 1. What was presented as a Kiln Fiend deck ended up as a Splinter Twin deck, and we promptly died on Turn 4.

Game 2 went pretty long, but we show the power of Jund by crushing with double Tarmogoyf after stopping everything our opponent does.

We almost time out in Game 3, but get there on one of our Raging Ravines with about 30 seconds to spare.

Round 3 — RUG Scapeshift

We get stuck with a ton of cards in Game 1 that we can’t cast on only three lands, and our opponent ends our existence with Scapeshift.

The opponent fends off our assaults in Game 2 with double Leyline of Sanctity until he assembled Prismatic Omen and Scapeshift to put 15 Valakut triggers on the stack.

“Interesting match up” – MrScottyMac

Round 4 — Bant Hexproof

We end up with nearly the perfect start in Game 1, curving from discard to Dark Confidant to Lingering Souls with plenty of removal along the way. Our opponent misplays in Game 2 with his double Burrenton Forge-Tender.

Bonus Round — Delver Twin

We get surprised by a Delver of Secrets start in Game 1, which leads into getting Exarch-Twin’ed.

We play to our outs in Game 2, and under a different set of topdecks from our opponent we might have had a chance. (We played badly.)

But Wait, There’s More!

I let Medina go at this point and begin more in-depth deck discussions. Most interestingly I look at another build which seemed extremely well positioned to do well against the Spirit Jund version. One of the most relevant cards to make my most current list is presented here. What card is that? Well you will have to tune in next week to find out!

I apologize for the short article today, but I have been playing in GPTs all weekend and ran out of time. I will be posting a separate tournament report on those two events later this week as a bonus to this article. I will be taking a lot more time with the lessons I have learned in our discussions with Josh Utter-Leyton from his appearance on The Eh Team podcast this week, and through my playing the list extensively this weekend. The article should be up Friday, just in time to help you take down your own local GPT.

Tom Martell joins us this week at 9 p.m. EST sharp! He has to run before 11 p.m., so you better not be late for this one!

My current list, secret tech AND a staggering legend in our community? At the SAME TIME!?!?!

Tune in tonight. Same bat time, same bat channel. See you tonight!

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